Australia’s Last Riverboat Postman Trips and Dangar Ferry Service
Australia’s Last Riverboat Postman Trips: (33° 32′ 48″S, 151° 13′ 39″E) Daily cruises with Australia Post from Brooklyn Wharf (+61 (0)400 600 111) - bookings essential; and
Dangar Ferry Service: (33° 32′ 48″S, 151° 13′ 39″E) Pre-booked trips between Brooklyn and Patonga, opposite Hawkesbury River Marina, Brooklyn (+61 (0)448 101010). Both en route on the Great North Walk
The Great North Walk Companion extract- pages 50-51
Broken Bay has three distinct arms: to the west is the Hawkesbury River estuary, Brisbane Water lies to the north with Pittwater towards the south. These three arms are in fact ‘rias’ that were river valleys many, many years ago when sea level was significantly lower than today. As sea level rose, these were flooded to give the expansive, watery arms of the bay you see today. The bay officially lies between the northern Box Head and Barrenjoey Head to the south. The ‘BJ’ lighthouse dates back to 1881 and was built to help ships avoid the prominent headland. The Aboriginal inhabitants knew the Hawkesbury River as ‘Deerabin’.
I try to compensate by telling my companion about the history of Broken Bay as we stand together looking across the waves. “Captain Cook discovered — well, he was the first Englishman to see — this bay on May 7, 1770. I have the quote from his log of sunset here:
‘....some broken land that appeared to form a bay bore at N 40 degrees W, distant 4 leagues (7 1/2 miles). This bay I named Broken Bay’”
“Excuse me interrupting,” says a smiling mother standing near us, “but I thought these days there was some controversy about whether our ‘Broken Bay’ was what was really sighted by Cook. My husband says that Cook actually passed this area at night, and that his log was in fact referring to the area around Narrabeen Lagoon.”
“I’ve heard both stories,” I agree. “Either way, the next white man here was without doubt our first Governor — Arthur Phillip —on August 22nd 1788.”
“Did you know that the River, the Hawkesbury that is, was named for a baron back in England — Baron Hawkesbury?” she asks her son who has joined her at the rail.
“Are you local,” my companion asks and, receiving a nod and a smile, continues, “can you tell us a bit about the islands, please?”